Anita’s beautiful blog Castles, Crowns and Cottages is always a pleasure to read, and so I decided to join her Simply Irresistible Link Party that launches today. Those of us participating have agreed to write about our dream European destination.

Won’t you come with me for a little visit to la culla del Rinascimento, the cradle of the the Renaissance, otherwise known as the eternally lovely Florence and the winding roads of Tuscany?

As an homage to the spirit of Anita’s dazzling reveries,

Ever since I was little, I wanted to see Michelangelo’s sculptures.

The angel that he set free from the marble, the Doni Tondo, and so much more….

I visited Florence with my family when I was 19 and went back to study art the next year.

My time in Florence was glorious.

There were magical dinner parties that lasted for hours.

Afternoons filled with shopping and cafes.

Glamorous parties, where I picked my way through champagne bottles strewn under the olive trees at villas up in the hills of Firenze. Florentines know how to enjoy life and then some.

I don’t remember much about art class except that our teacher would wear a pareo and nothing else in the afternoons…But I do remember taking an hour or more every morning to spend alone in the Ufizzi and Palazzo Pitti walking among works by Botticelli, da Vinci, Durer, Michelangelo, Titian, Caravaggio, Rembrandt and so many more. I never started my day until I had spent some time in front of my favorite Raphael painting.

The Madonna della Seggiola is to this day the most beautiful painting that I have ever seen. Missing morning class to spend time in front of it was one of the best educational decisions I ever made.

From the beginning, life in Firenze was a slice of heaven laced with chocolate from Rivoire…you haven’t lived until you’ve sipped this melted chocolate concoction.

It was my first behind-the-scenes glimpse of handmade luxury leather goods;

little did I know it was to become a life long passion…

And then, not surprisingly, one evening, at a party overlooking the Arno, I was struck by the same lightning that Dante wrote about in the Divine Comedy.

For a time I lived with him above the Piazza della Signoria.

I missed one plane ride home. And then another…

We toured the Tuscan countryside, tasting wine and stopping in villas to taste more wine. He knew everyone and everyone knew him. It was like a strange but wonderful dream.

Weeks were ticking by and I was missing the beginning of grad school.
He asked me to stay and I thought about it.

I’m sure I filled pages in my journal.
Penne for your thoughts, ragazza…

I was just 20 and at the time the things I still wanted to do made

the 12 years between us seem like 1200.

Before I left he gave me the pocket watch his mother, a beautiful artist, had worn in her passport photo. And yes, this is the very same watch. I still have it.

To this day Firenze has a dear place in my heart and always will.
Just thinking about it has made me want to return.

Have you ever visited a place that was simply irresistible?

46 Comments

Mary Hone March 20, 2019 at 03:01

Oh how wonderfully romantic. What a special place. Thanks for the tour, I enjoyed every moment.

Classiq March 20, 2019 at 08:45

An American in Firenze…what a beautiful story! We spent a few days there during our Italian honey moon and I fell for the architecture and that amazing light in the evening sun. Rome has a more special place in my heart though. I’m eternally in love with it.

katie March 20, 2019 at 10:58

holy smokes….i’m outside on my porch, sipping my coffee, and have truly been transported….hands down my most favorite posts of yours EVER!!!!

Marcela Gmd March 20, 2019 at 13:05

I love Firenze!!! a place full of art and beauty!!
Have a wonderful weekend!!!:)))

Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

Marieken Hoefnagel March 20, 2019 at 16:25

Must have been a great city to live for a while. I was lucky to have visited one time for a day, and one time for a long weekend. I think it would be such a cool experience to stay longer and get to know the city better. I spent a month in Salamanca for a Spanish language course and a weekend in Madrid for ‘desert’. Loved both cities. I bet you would love the museums in Madrid!

Draffin Bears March 20, 2019 at 23:19

I enjoyed visiting your blog and reading the lovely story of back when you were 20 and seeing the gorgeous photographs.
What a wonderful experience you had in Firenze and can see why it is dear to your heart.
Travel really does broaden your horizon with rich history, art and culture.
Many thanks for visiting my blog.
Happy weekend
Carolyn

Stacey March 21, 2019 at 03:40

Awww, this post was heartwarming! I could relate to your sentiments about your time in Firenze. Our time living in Italy totally changed our lives and we vowed to retire there. The people, culture , food, really just the essence of Italia speak to my soul. Thanks for sharing! xx

Martina March 21, 2019 at 10:00

Firenze is really amazing – i’ve been there twice and so enjoyed coming there a third time with YOU! All the art, history and atmosphere is really worth coming there again and again! Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog, made me happy!

Rowena March 22, 2019 at 06:56

Thanks for sharing this beautiful virtual journey! I really enjoyed reading about your experience in Firenze! Happy weekend!

Angelsdoor March 22, 2019 at 12:32

Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such a sweet note.
I did come by yesterday and left a comment, I guess it did not go through…
I absolutely love your post!
What beautiful photos and memories you have.. Thank you so much for sharing.
fondly,
Penny
p.s. Love the music!

subham rai March 22, 2019 at 17:08

Looks like an amazing place & Would you like to follow each other
on GFC, Google+ & Bloglovin? Lemme know!
& keep in touch!

X

Castles Crowns and Cottages March 22, 2019 at 23:34

WOW.WOW…, your music and personal story (HOW ROMANTIC) has made this tour with your most enjoyable! YOU HAVE LIVED THIS DREAM, and I suspect, you still do, every day. What would we do without art, romance and love? I don’t even want to go there. I want to stay HERE, with you.

The French Hutch March 23, 2019 at 06:04

this story is so romantic it gives me chills! Oh how I agree, to ditch classes to stand in front of art in Florence would be a no brainer. You were one lucky girl, and a very lovely one I see in the photo. Just like you, I hope to return here some day. I could never get enough of Florence…………
I so enjoyed your story, thanks for sharing it.

Suz March 23, 2019 at 08:03

What a compelling and beautiful story to accompany your gorgeous images. You left me wanting to hear more and of course wanting to visit Firenze.

Palomasea March 23, 2019 at 08:03

What a delicious experience you had, , in many ways! SO special.
Truly a dream come true.
Thank you for generously sharing your memories…
Florence was magical in every way when I visited. Thank you for bringing me back there today.
Isn’t Anita a beautiful soul…bringing all of us from the world over, together like this?!
Abbracci,
– Irina

Couture Carrie March 23, 2019 at 11:03

Amazing post, darling!
I love Florence, too 🙂

I lived in Salamanca for a semester in college, and that was pretty epic as well.

xoxox,

Christine D. March 23, 2019 at 12:51

what a beautiful story and what a wonderful way to share it. i was so enraptured. and that pocket watch, what an amazing momento, it’s just gorgeous.

Sandy at You May Be Wandering March 23, 2019 at 17:11

Oh wow…what a beautiful post about one of my favorite places in the world! Thank you for giving me a lovely virtual escape! xoxo

Mary Hone March 24, 2019 at 05:58

Oh how wonderfully romantic. What a special place. Thanks for the tour, I enjoyed every moment.

FASHION TALES March 24, 2019 at 07:52

Sounds like a very memorable experience it was for you . I love all of these photos, especially the dinner table gathering … is that a photo that you took? It’s gorgeous!

Emily Tang March 24, 2019 at 14:59

I always wanted to visit Europe
MY-Emily

Botanic Bleu March 24, 2019 at 16:31

What a romantic story set in a romantic city! Any regrets? Thank you for taking us along on such a personal experience.

speedyrabbit March 24, 2019 at 21:04

Beautiful memories you have of such a wonderful place,xx Rachel and Speedy

Catherine Robinson March 25, 2019 at 17:34

Such a beautiful story,…only in Italy…your post is beautiful…I’ve so enjoyed the trip and thank you for popping by it was lovely to hear from you.
Happy Weekend! xx

nélinha March 26, 2019 at 00:24

what a beautiful story and what a wonderful way to share it.merci beaucoup de ta gentille visite, Thanks to Anita I meet very nice person….
Bisous français
Nélinha

Mary Hone March 26, 2019 at 04:53

Oh how wonderfully romantic. What a special place. Thanks for the tour, I enjoyed every moment.

cat eyes & skinny jeans said… March 26, 2019 at 10:08

What brilliant images. The dinner parties sound simply magical!

Alexis Grace of North On Harper March 26, 2019 at 12:10

Wow. What a beautiful post. I’ve been to Florence, but your post transported me there better than my own memory does! Absolutely enchanting! Thank you for sharing!

Constance March 26, 2019 at 13:33

That is stunning! Sexy, magnificent, delectable, awe inspiring! Tuscany and florence are not to be missed! Am definitely going to add these marvelous places to my bucket list thanks to your post!

Karena Albert March 26, 2019 at 13:35

thank you so much for this wondrous adventure. Anita has brought us all together to enjoy each others dreams and memories!

xoxo
Karena
The Arts by Karena
Europe: Simply Irresistible!

The BUTT’RY and BOOK’RY March 26, 2019 at 13:58

This is travel post that SPEAKS ROMANCE in every way; music, pictures thoughts, and romance!! How lovely are these memories!!
Thank you for a lovely time!!

Many Blessings, Linnie

(and Michelangelo is a favorite
of mine too 😀 )

Enara Girl March 26, 2019 at 17:04

It looks great, I have never been there. xoxo

Denise March 27, 2019 at 00:01

🙂 What a dream.To be 20 and in love with a city and a Man that belongs to that city.I am half Italian,I know the passion of the Italians.A beautiful post that brought Me back to My own youth.Thank You for stopping by and leading Me back to this dream of Mine.Blessings Denise

irma March 27, 2019 at 00:23

Romantic memories of youth in an artistic town…

Jade March 27, 2019 at 03:38

What a magical post, dear Mary Jo…………it´s so romantic and full of beauty! I love the Tuscany – what a joy for me to visit it today with you! Thank you so much for all your inspiration and for your lovely comment (it makes me so happy)! Have a wonderful weekend,

with love, Jade

Pamela RG March 27, 2019 at 05:29

Florence is one of my favourite cities in Europe. It is less crowded than Rome. We used to just walk all over the City to discover its art and hidden treasures. The shopping and food there are fantastic. Your memories of the City are so sweet. Go back again.

Luisa María Benito March 27, 2019 at 07:28

HELLO!!
Thanks to Anita today I can enjoy your pictures and this fantastic Link Party!.
I love your pictures, and I’m enjoying your photos and Those places thanks to you!

I wish you a great weekend.
Today I am Happy to have met you, I hope you visit me
Luisa
personally selected products

Linda P March 27, 2019 at 08:06

Lovely photos and visions of a dreamy place I yearn to visit. Thank you taking me along this fabulous tour. How wonderful to be able to experience this. We will someday soon. Romance, beauty, fabulous food and great architecture. Coming over from Anita’s CCC.

DREAMS ON 34th STREET ~ French Bread & Family March 27, 2019 at 08:59

Your beautiful story and it’s images transported me to Firenze and back to my youth!

I was in Florence attending Summer classes when I was 17. We ditched class as well. I can still smell grandness of Florence.

Thank you sharing your heart.
withLove!

La Contessa March 27, 2019 at 12:48

OH MY GOD!HAVE YOU FOUND HIM ON FACEBOOK???
What an enchanting story……….NOW off you go to see MY STORY!LOved this POST!What are you making with leather…….I shall SUBSCRIBE to your blog!!
A PRESTO BELLA……………another who did marry the Italian!

Kizzy Von Doll.. March 27, 2019 at 16:16

Such a sweet story and memory!! I loved it. I went there many years ago. Am glad you have that happy memory to think back on :)) Happy weekend doll xx

Sandy at You May Be Wandering March 27, 2019 at 17:30

Oh wow…what a beautiful post about one of my favorite places in the world! Thank you for giving me a lovely virtual escape! xoxo

Mary Hone March 27, 2019 at 18:03

Oh how wonderfully romantic. What a special place. Thanks for the tour, I enjoyed every moment.

Marcia Pilar March 27, 2019 at 18:24

Pleasure to meet yo. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. Your post is a dream of mine, to one day actually live in Italy. What a wonderful experience you lived. Thank you for sharing it with us.
LOVE the music, and I look forward to continuing to visit.
Much love!

Rhonda March 27, 2019 at 22:16

Tuscany and it’s rolling hills are so romantic. I adore cypress trees and have 3 baby trees growing right now in our yard.

Lovely post!

Alicia Mackin March 28, 2019 at 01:13

Gosh what a wonderful experience. Can’t say I ever had an experience like this. But so glad you had sucn a memorable experience like this, everyone should. I do hope to travel abroad again one of these days and would love to live abroad too.

Allie of ALLIE NYC

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